Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 331:1-2
שולחן ערוך חשן משפט סימן שלא:א-ב
השוכר פועלים ינהג עמהם כמנהג המדינה: השוכר את הפועלים ואמר להם להשכים ולהעריב, מקום שנהגו שלא להשכים ושלא להעריב, אינו יכול לכופן אפילו הוסיף על שכרן, כיון שלא התנה כן בשעה ששכרן. מקום שנהגו לזון יזון, לספק בגרוגרות או בתמרי[ם] וכיוצא בהם יספק – הכל כמנהג המדינה
One who hires employees should treat them in accordance with local custom: One who hires employees and tells them to work very early in the morning or late into the night-- in a place where it was not the custom to work very early or very late, he (the employer) cannot force them even if he adds to their wages, since he did not make that condition at the time that he hired them. Where the custom was to provide their meals, he should provide their meals, to provide figs or dates or something similar, he should provide it – all in accordance with local custom.[translation by Hekhsher Tzedek "Al Pi Din" by Rabbi Avram Israel Reisner for Heksher Tzedek Commission of RA/USCJ]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. Should local customs override agreements made between employees and employers? If so, why? If not, why not?

2. Does this remove the potential for labor abuse or add to it?

Time Period: Medieval (Geonim through the 16th Century)